Msgr. Donatien Nshole, a representative of the Church in Congo, told Voice of America that the bishops' conference believed President Joseph Kabila should not be seeking to extend term limits and would not sign an accord that failed "to engage all political actors" and "respect the constitutional order."
However, at the request of President Kabila, the bishops have re-engaged in some peace talks between the two camps in a rush to come to an agreement before Dec. 19th, the official date when President Kabila has been asked to step down.
Tom Perriello, the United States special envoy to the region who has also called for Kabila to respect term limits, told Congress last week that the bishops' mediation was the best chance of avoiding additional, wide-scale violence, but warned they were working on "borrowed time."
Last week, the bishops issued a statement warning that the divide remained despite weeks of attempted dialogue with both sides.
"The situation is critical," the statement said. "(The bishop's conference)...calls on all sides to show responsibility and good will to prevent our country from slipping into an uncontrollable situation. May the Virgin Mary intervene for our people and our country."
Father Léonard Santedi of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa wrote in a letter to The Guardian that the Church hopes to avoid further violence a country that has only begun recovering from the Second Congo War, which lasted from 1998 to 2003, and which also faces occasional terrorist attacks from extreme Islamic groups.
"Our deepest hope is that the current unrest won't descend into civil war: our country has seen enough bloodshed."